888 Sport to Sponsor Cardiff City FC
Cardiff City FC has unveiled 888 Sport as its newest shirt sponsor. The European sports betting firm is the club’s first ever training wear sponsor. However, a new survey has revealed that betting sponsors are falling out of favor in football, with a third of fans reluctant to buy shirts featuring gambling motifs.
Bluebirds All for Betting
888 Sport has been announced as Cardiff City FC’s brand new shirt sponsor. For the first time ever, the club’s training wear will be sponsored. A deal has been signed for the 2020/21 season, although if all goes well an extension is not off the table. Revealing the new sponsorship deal, Cardiff City FC has said that fans will be able to benefit from great betting and odds and exclusive competitions. The club itself also stands to benefit from the deal, as the extra cash generated through sponsorship is more vital than ever during the pandemic.
Despite this year’s postponed schedules, it is once more a busy time for the club. Cardiff City is currently busy wrapping up its final signings, before the deadline for transfers and departures on Friday. Interest in Barnsley’s Cauley Woodrow, his teammate Alex Mowatt and West Bromwich’s Charlie Austin is rumored, while Cardiff’s Joe Bennett and Adam Flint may leave for other clubs.
In celebration of the partnership, 888 Sport has said that it will launch activation programs with the club. More details about this will come out during the upcoming campaign. Ken Choo, Executive Director and CEO of Cardiff City expressed his delight at joining forces with 888 Sport. In a press release, Choo said:
“Once again, I’m thrilled that we have entered into a partnership with a world-recognized brand like 888 Sport. We’re very happy to have them with us for the season ahead and I look forward to seeing the opportunities they will help create for City fans.”
Many football fans will already be familiar with 888 Sport. Pronounced ‘triple eight sport’, this sports betting company has become a leading contender in the online market during the last decade. 888 Sport is based in Gibraltar and mostly caters to European customers. However, its site has found fans all over the world.
In 2013, it became one of the first non-European online betting firms in the US, when it was awarded a license by the Nevada Gaming Commission. In 2018, it went on to partner with Caesars Atlantic City Casino to make sports wagering available to New Jersey bettors. Alongside massive European operators like William Hill and Flutter, 888 Sport, a subsidiary of 888 Holdings, is keen to a take slice of the newly emerging US sports betting market.
While 888 Sport is making great strides in foreign markets, it will also be glad to find new fans in the UK. Cardiff City plays in the highest tier of the EFL, the Championship, and has a loyal base of supporters. Having also played in the 2018/19 season of the Premier League, this club shows a great degree of promise for the future. Guy Cohen is SVP Head of B2C at 888 Sport. He welcomed the deal with the Bluebirds, expressing his support for the club in the season ahead:
“We’re delighted to announce this new partnership with Cardiff City Football Club and look forward to getting behind the club’s push to bring Premier League football back to the Welsh capital.”
Betting Sponsors Fall Out of Favor
Famous rival of Cardiff City, Swansea City has taken a decidedly different approach to betting sponsorship. In August, the club dropped its betting sponsor Yobet, in favor of a new partnership with Swansea University. The Welsh club’s decision came out of a desire to distance itself with gambling, due to growing pressure from campaigners over the sheer quantity of betting ads in the sport.
Last season, bookmakers sponsored half of all Premier League football clubs. Betting firms also sponsored 17 out of 24 Championship clubs. Being sponsored by a gambling operator is lucrative for football clubs. These partnerships provide much needed revenue for teams, helping to pay for players, equipment and staff.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic clubs endured a long lockdown, in which it was not possible for players to train and matches were postponed. Now football has returned, much to the relief of fans, but spectators are still not always allowed back in the stands. This loss in ticket sales has hit clubs hard and is why clubs like Cardiff City and Fulham FC, which signed with BetVictor last month, have chosen to make new deals with betting firms.
However, a new survey has revealed that a third of football fans are reluctant to buy their club’s shirt if it is printed with a betting logo. The poll on gambling in football was carried out by Survation and commissioned by the Coalition Against Gambling Ads. Over 1,000 fans were questioned, and almost half said that they would support a ban on betting firms sponsoring football clubs. Nearly 60% of participants said that there are too many gambling ads in football stadiums
A ban on shirt sponsors has been proposed by MPs, in a bid to reduce the rate of problem gambling amongst sports bettors. Former deputy leader of the Labour party, Tom Watson, pushed the idea as part of wider gambling forms. However, in a move that sparked both surprise and criticism, Watson has since taken on an advisory role at Flutter Entertainment, a company that has expanded rapidly to become the largest online gambling firm in the world.
The Betting and Gaming Council’s whistle to whistle ban was introduced last year in an effort to reduce the number of gambling ads children are exposed to. According to the terms of the ban, gambling ads cannot be aired during live televised sports events aired before the watershed. However, sponsorship on shirts and around the stadium is often still visible.
The BGC recently released figures hailing the ban as a success. According to data collected by Enders Analysis, the whistle ban has reduced the number of TV gambling ads seen by children by 97%. However, the Survation poll is less optimistic, with 67% of participants stating that the whistle to whistle ban has not prevented children from seeing gambling brands in football. Furthermore, 66% said that are too many gambling ads connected to football on TV.